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8 -- Part 3: Continuity and Change in Europe and Western Asia
As the Western Roman Empire fell, the Christian Church grew and became the most important institution in Europe.
Taking more authority over religious issues away from the state gave the church strength.
The church's western realm gained more power after the imperial capital moved from Rome to Constan tinople.
The state continued to intervene in theological matters.
New Christian orders made important contributions to religious and secular society.
As the centuries passed, secular rulers and church leaders became the norm in early Christian communities.
Each diocese had a bishop.
Administrative skills were brought to the early Christian Church by some bishops.
Bishop Ambrose of Milan had a solid education, was a trained lawyer, and was once the governor of a province.
He was a typical Roman aris tocrat who held high public office, was converted to Christianity, and eventually became a bishop.
Ambrose was seen as one of the fathers of the church because of his influence, and his authority was seen as second only to the Bible.
The church leadership shared an opinion with Ambrose that the church was supreme in spiritual matters and the state in secular issues.
The emperors supported the church despite the frequent conflicts between religious and secular leaders.
The Christian Church's support was expected by the emperors.
The Christian community had disagreements over logical issues in the fourth century.
There were disagreements about the nature of Christ.
Jesus was created by the will of God the Father and not by Arius, the priest who was equal to him in power.
The Greeks denied that Christ was co-eternal with God the Father.
The emperor decided that religious disagreement meant civil disorder after he legalized Christianity.
He summoned a council of church leaders to Nicaea in Asia Minor and personally presided over it.
The Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches, and most Protestants agree with the Nicene Creed that Christ is eternally begotten of the Father.
The first case of civil punishment for heresy was the banishment of Arius and others.
The emperor's participation in a theological dispute paved the way for other emperors to do the same.
The most common form of Christianity among barbarian groups for centuries was iran Christianity, even though it died out among Greeks and Romans.
Christianity was made the official religion of the empire by Theodosius.
He stripped Roman pagan temples of statues, made the practice of the old Roman state religion a treasonable offense, and cut Christians who dissented from or thodox doctrine.
The marble sarcophagus was made for the mother of Emperor Constantine.
The carvings show Roman horsemen and barbarian prisoners.
She was sent by Constantine to bring sacred relics from Jerusalem to Constantinople as part of his efforts to promote Christianity in the empire.
The Roman government had no jurisdiction over these courts.
The foundation for growth in church power had been laid.
The leader of the church in the West, the bishop of Rome, became more powerful than his counterpart in the Byzantine East for a number of reasons.
The emperor moved the imperial capital from Rome to Constan tinople in the fourth century.
The bishop of Rome began to exert more influence in the West because there was no real competition for leadership there.
The power of the successive bishops of Rome increased as they called on the emperors at Constantinople for military support against barbarian invaders.
The emperors had no troops to spare.
The Western Church became less dependent on the emperors' power and began charging taxes, sending troops, and enforcing laws in central Italy.
The church's special role was stressed by the bishops of Rome.
According to the Petrine Doctrine, Peter was the first bishop of Rome and was given a privileged position in the church hierarchy.
The other Christian com lic Church became political.
The churches were urged to appeal to Rome for the resolution of the disputes.
In the East, the emperor's jurisdiction over the church was completely unquestioned.
The head of the church in Constantinople did not have the same power as the pope did in the West because there was never a similar power vacuum.
He was appointed by the emperor.
Religion was seen as a branch of the state by the Eastern emperors.
The emperors summoned the councils of bishops and theologians to resolve their differences.
Chris tian believed that icons fostered reverence and that Jesus and the saints could plead a cause to God the Father.
Those who favored the destruction of icons argued that people were worshiping the image rather than what it was.
They claimed that this was a violation of the Ten Commandments, a religious and moral code sacred to Christians.
Gious images in the Byzantine caused the destruction of icons.
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